On the heels of Summerslam, various interviews with WWE wrestlers have hit the internet and various wrestling sites. The majority of these interviews were about Summerslam, and quite a few of these wrestlers did mention not being particularly happy with either not being on the card or their placement on the card. With that in mind, let’s look at a number of WWE wrestlers who seem to be treading water right; that is, singles wrestlers who haven’t recently been in the Main Event scene (in the past few weeks) that seemingly have stagnated or are being led astray by misguided direction. Tag teams and groups are exempt, because by and large every tag team except for the dubiously-pushed Prime Time Players (this push is coming WAY too late), the recently hot Uso’s, and the Shield, all the tag teams are treading water.
R-Truth – What’s Up?…is that R-Truth hasn’t had any direction for his character for a while now. He shows up and either jobs or picks up the surprise win of the night. His last title reign was last year with Kofi Kingston as one half of the tag team champions. Yes, he’s an enhancement talent at this stage of his career, but he hasn’t had a sustained feud since the one that he had with Antonio Cesaro in the last months of 2012. What has he been doing lately? (Besides jobbing to Bray Wyatt, getting more tattoos and watching his hairline recede)
Wade Barrett While his song is called “God Save the Queen,” it’s clear that Wade needs saving himself. After losing the IC title for good, he’s been the jobber of choice for everyone. Even before this horrible stretch, it was clear that they weren’t sure what to do with him; he lost the IC title at Wrestlemania only to win it back the next night. Perplexing booking that weakened the importance of the title and the credibility of both man in one horrible, fell swoop. He’s currently in a pseudo feud with Daniel Bryan, but who knows what will likely come of it. Wade is quite conscious of this, as you can see from this interview, and fans couldn’t be more bemused as to why such talent is being reduced to repetitive jobbing.
Dolph Ziggler This one baffles me as much as Wade’s does. Wade had all the talent, acclaim and skill to be a star right away and they didn’t utilize it. Dolph has all of the talent, acclaim, and skill to be a star now and he’s not in the Main Event picture. The feud with Langston is over. Dolph too expressed in an interview that he wasn’t happy with where he was/is and justifiably so.
Zack Ryder From “take care…spike you hair” to seemingly…nowhere, Zack Ryder has had a long fall from grace to a liminal space that no wrestler wants to be in: creative doesn’t know what to do with him and the WWE Universe has lost interest. When he’s featured on television, it’s almost always in a backstage segment or in a losing effort.
Fandango Bad timing may be the culprit of this wrestler’s current stint, but hopefully that is the lone punishment he gets for being injured. Injuries have derailed the careers of many other wrestlers, including someone on this list, as Vince seems to view rising stars who get injured as pariahs. Nonetheless, Fandango became Vince’s pet project after first pet project Jack Swagger essentially, “wet the bed.” With that in mind, Vince should give him a chance to finally shine again, and that may have a lot to do with the next guy
The Miz He is being a true company guy at this point, because he’s taken a substantial drop from Main Eventing a Wrestlemania to merely hosting the second biggest pay-per-view of the year. The drop off for the Miz has been quite sharp as he never sniffed the Main Event or WWE Title picture after he initially left it, and it’s hard to fathom why, when we regularly hear that the WWE has big plans for him. He hasn’t done much of anything recently besides host MizTV, but I have hopes that this feud with Fandango can do good things for both of them.
Yoshi Tatsu He’s an enhancement talent who even jobs on NXT. Misdirection? No. Aimless? No. Eternally buried? Yes.
Let’s be clear that all of these guys are talented–especially Yoshi if the legend of the Sheamus fight is true–but in the grand scheme of the WWE, they are going nowhere fast. This list is in no way the comprehensive assortment of singles wrestlers who are treading water—wrestlers who were not recently in a Main Event scene who are currently stagnant. Who are some other wrestlers that you feel are treading water in the WWE?